Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder
Find Your Grind
Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2003 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.
The Salon office environment reminds me, I now realize, of some cross between every media outlet I've ever worked for (e.g., KUOP, "Talking it Through with John Morearty: Dialogues on War and Peace", all my school newspapers from 5th grade on to the Daily Cal) and all the dotcom jobs I've ever had (tech writing, almost exclusively). Elements of the former include frequent deadlines, eccentric writers, loose or nonexistent dress codes, some amount of idealism and fulfillment. Elements of the latter include cubicles, references to "HR", lots of people spending 8 hours a day in front of a screen, more tedium.
But various elements remain the same as they were in my last job, at Cody's Books. Example: publishers send Salon advance copies, hoping we'll review them. So there's lots of free reading material around. But, unlike at Cody's, I find here that the publishers somehow sense the unlikelihood that Salon will review the latest potboiler (M Is For More Murder et al.), so the ratio of interesting stuff to faddle is higher. I just read Hands On!, an interesting collection of 33 essays giving advice to preteen girls. Recommended for all ages and genders for its practical and theoretical advice, the last item of which is "Don't Take Advice."